Monthly Archives: September 2018

Borax Ant Poison Mixture


½ cup sugar

1 ½ tablespoons Borax

1 ½ cups warm water

1.  Mix the Borax and sugar together until well combined.

2.  Add the mixture to your warm water and mix constantly until the powder has been completely dissolved.

(Use only what you need for the next step and store the rest in a jar or container for future use. It is important that you clearly label the jar and keep it out of reach of children.)

3.  Some people saturate cotton balls and put them into the path of the ants.  I prefer cutting index cards into squares of about 1½” and putting a small amount of the mixture on it and setting it into the path of the ants.  Sometimes I have even put a drop or two of the mixture on the counter in an out of the way place and left it for a day or so.  The ants go right after it and then they disappear in a few days.  This picture was taken within a half an hour after we put some out in Christina’s kitchen last night after the movers had left.  Charis and I had put several little stations out, and this one was the most popular, with “customers” within two or three minutes.  This picture is enlarged 5X at least.  These ants were really tiny.

Deborah's Ants


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Tuesday Morning Comfort

I came down to my chair this morning for my usual quiet time, and thought about this day, and what was supposed to be happening on this day (Our Babysweete was to be moved to her “permanent” home)and felt again the fascination I felt this week about how God works in each of us in different ways, knows our thoughts and knows what we need, and supplies those needs in ways that go beyond what we would expect.

That was exactly what happened on Tuesday morning.  Listen, dear friends, to yet another regaling of provision given this Delaware Grammy in an hour of great need.

Tuesday morning I came downstairs, took note of the fact that it was Tuesday already and Friday was coming!  I thought about our precious little Babysweete and grabbed my prayer journal and a pen to write a lament to the Father about the whole situation and to BEG Him to “PLEASE, DO SOMETHING!!!”  As my hand opened my  prayer journal I felt a soft, insistent urging in my heart. 

“Read today’s Bible Reading before you write.”

I didn’t want to.  I wanted to put all my raw emotions down, and I explained that to The Father, but the Insistent Voice would not be stilled.  “Read today’s Bible Reading FIRST!  Then you can write all you want.”

I reluctantly put my journal and pen back onto the blanket chest beside my chair and pulled my tattered Grace for the Moment Daily Bible onto my lap.  I opened the pages and looked again at the dogeared index card that marked my place.  The #1 item was “Babysweete’s Future.”  The card sticks out over the top of the pages, and every time I pick up the Bible, I see those words and think,  “Lord Jesus, what is to become of our baby-girl?”

Tuesday morning, the index card was stuck at September 25th.  It was a long reading.  I may have sighed a bit, but dug in and started to read.  The Old Testament reading was from Isaiah 41 and 42.  How I love Isaiah!  And before long, I had an incredible sense of the comforting presence of the LORD.  This particular devotional Bible is the New Century Version, (my favorite translation). and the words sifted into the cracks of my soul and I was suddenly at peace.  I read and reread some of the verses, then finished my Bible reading, and then picked up my prayer journal and began to write.


Father God,
The days of this week are slipping by with the quiet swiftness of Autumn coming on.  It’s Tuesday, and Fridays a’comin!  Friday.  The day once again designated as Babysweete’s departure day– I had meant to come here and spread my heart before you once again; my tears and words and open hands begging for one more miracle, one more stay, one more chance at keeping in our family this precious baby girl that is so loved by Raph and Gina and Si and Liam and Frankie . . . (and us all!)   I had pulled up my prayer journal, chose a pen, when there was a check in my spirit.  “Read your Bible reading for today, FIRST!”

I argued, Father God – You know that, but then I laid my prayer journal and my burning words aside to read from Your Word, and it has brought me comfort and peace.

Isaiah 41:4 & 10.
Who caused this to happen?
    Who has controlled history since the beginning?
I, the Lord, am the one. I was here at the beginning,
    and I will be here when all things are finished.

“So don’t worry, because I am with you.
    Don’t be afraid, because I am your God.
I will make you strong and will help you;
    I will support you with my right hand that saves you.”

Isaiah 42:3 & 4
He will not break a crushed blade of grass
    or put out even a weak flame.
He will truly bring justice;
He will not lose hope or give up
until he brings justice to the world.
    And people far away will trust his teachings.”

Lord Jesus, for all my heart burdens, for our family, (especially Babysweete and Raph and Gina’s family, but also for all of these ones that I love) and for all the other heartaches that call my attention away from you, may I choose to remember that YOU HAVE THIS!  You will bring justice, you will not lose hope and You will not give up!”


I had no promise as to how this thing was all going to turn out (and honestly, still don’t) but I did know one thing.  God had this whole thing in His care.  I sat in the quiet room and once again placed this burden at the foot of the cross. I would have loved to just sit there a while longer, but it was time to get Cecilia up and ready for her bus, and there were a hundred other things calling my name.  The day passed quickly and before I knew  it, it was almost 4:00 pm, and I was in the kitchen, working on the bushel of apples that I was making into applesauce.  It had been a long day, and this Delaware Grammy was plodding.  I heard my phone beep in my pocket.  I wearily picked it up, but felt all the sadness slip away when I read:

Babysweete won’t be leaving Friday . . . ”

Rivers of joy swelled up inside of me and started spilling over my cheeks.  I stood in my kitchen and gave humble, grateful praise for yet another answer to our prayers.  Listen, my friends.  The story isn’t over yet (and I know that even better than I wish I did)  but one day at a time, one step at a time, God has intervened, proven that He is the Master of the Timing, the Blessed Controller of All Things, and “even if – – -“ I intend to trust Him.

Our hearts give humble, grateful praise.


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Rain Gutter Woes

It was hot and dry for a long time this summer.  One day, coming in from outdoors, Certain Man remarked to me that the leaves were already falling — and it was only August!  Well, yes, it did seem as if the leaves were falling in great number, but I didn’t know what to do about it, so I listened and noted — but I didn’t run out there with anything to paste them up there more securely.

So we drifted into September, and suddenly, we were slammed with a whole lot of rain.  It came down in torrents, and it came shooting out over the gutters that are along the roof above our back decks, and that resulted in water seeping into our usually fairly dry basement.

Certain Man did not like it.  Not one little bit.  And one afternoon, when there was an especially loud thunderstorm going on, he announced, “I need to get up there and clean those gutters, or we are going to have a flood in the basement.”

I was not impressed with this endeavor.  Not one little bit.  “Daniel, you can’t go out in this thunderstorm and clean gutters!”

His reply?  The usual.  “Watch me!”

“But Sweetheart, it’s not safe.  You could get struck by lightening!”

“You don’t get struck by lightening if you aren’t the tallest thing in the area!” he said jauntily.

“You KNOW that’s not true!  If you are up on a metal ladder, dripping wet, you could be a target as sure as anything!  Please don’t!”

“Hon, you have to understand!  It’s a whole lot easier to clean gutters when it’s pouring down rain because the tide carries everything down the gutter to where you are and you can just lift it right out of the way.  It’s as easy as all get out!”

I said some more things that fell on deaf ears, but then he turned and seemed to head in a different direction than indicated for going out to clean gutters and I thought he was going to heed my advice.  Alas, that must have been a ploy to distract me.

Outside the storm raged on, but I thought all was well until I looked out the patio door and caught sight of him perched high on his ladder, happily cleaning gutters.  The lightning was bright, the thunder was loud and I went to the door to remonstrate gently.

“Daniel Yutzy, what do you think you are doing???  You are going to get yourself killed!  Get down right now!  For cryin’ out loud!  What in the world are you thinking?!?!?”

I caught sight of his face through the downpour and he was ginning, scooping out leaves and sticks and dirt from the offending gutters with great glee.  It was almost disgusting if I hadn’t been so frightened!  And the rain was coming in the patio door.  He wasn’t listening to me.  A sudden flash of lightning, followed by an immediate clap of thunder made me cringe.  I shut the patio door against the summer storm, and tried not to look.  He came down off his ladder to carry it to the other porch deck, and I saw him through the deluge as he came around the corner of the deck and propped it up against the siding. And then he came in, wet as a mongrel pup in a waterfall, and a sight to behold.

“Whew,” I said.  “You got done just in time!”

“I didn’t get done,” he said shortly.   “I quit!”

I couldn’t believe my ears.  “You quit???”

“Yep!” He said in his offhanded, careless way.  “I quit!  That last lightning strike was a little too close for comfort, so I decided to get down!”

I did not dance a jig or even allow myself a triumphant fist pump.  What did it matter as long as he was safely down and inside where he would be warm and dry?  So I gave silent thanks and did not celebrate too overly much.

The gutters got cleaned out another day.  And the next time it rained, Certain Man called attention to the  fact that no gutter was overflowing.  I noticed, and thanked him for a job well done.

The rain continues day after day and as those gutters do their job, my heart gives quiet, humble praise.  Not just for the gutters, but also that Certain Man is safe yet again when it seems as if it could have been so different.

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To Count The Gifts

It’s been a quiet day at Shady Acres.  We came home and ate a quick lunch, and then Middle Daughter and Eldest Granddaughter cleaned up the kitchen while I sat on my chair and talked to my sister, Alma.  I’m feeling like I’m short on family contact these days except for the people who go in and out of our house, and it was a comfort to me.  My out of state offspringin’s and grandchildren are strangely silent, and there has been a lot of clamor from some of the noises that sit heavy on my heart, causing me to feel more than a little GRUMPY.

I’m not allowed to be grumpy.  It’s not that someone has told me that I’m not allowed, but rather that I’ve learned that when this restless, vague irritation puts a foot down in my life, I’m going to do and say things that I’ll regret.  I’m going to confuse people I love, who scramble to try to make me happy again but don’t really understand what in the world has happened.  And, I also know that it’s time to do some heart work, and to be specific about realigning this heart with gratefulness.

There has been much to be happy for.  For one thing, unlike most of the rest of the population, I happen to like rainy days.  I don’t like when storms hurt or displace people, and I’ve been very intentional about praying for the children and the elderly and the handicapped who may be suffering in the weather and who are at the mercy of other people.  But rain on my roof, and dripping off the trees, seeing the pouring rain like a grey skirt sweeping over the lawn, and hearing thunder — well, that’s my kind of day!  So these past weeks, when I’ve prayed for all who have been adversely affected, it’s been nice to also thank God for these days that I truly do enjoy.  I mean, if we are going to have them anyway, I might as well be thankful for them.

Another thing that I’m very grateful for is God’s protection over people I love.  On a dark and rainy Sunday morning, when Hospice nurse, Middle Daughter, was on her way to a death in Selbyville, a large, black dog was suddenly directly in her path.  She lost control upon hitting it, hit a mailbox, and there was considerable damage to her trusty Toyota Matrix.  There was also a very dead black dog, with no collar or identification of any kind.  The police were kind, her father came quickly and brought her and the car home, the insurance adjuster was delightful, and the car should be done tomorrow in time for her to go to work.  This is all a major blessing.  Between hydroplaning and downpours and other dangerous scenarios, our Hospice Nurse Daughter has been kept from bodily harm through the many miles that she has traveled.

There have been happy times of celebrating birthdays this week.  Certain Man’s sister, Lena has been here for about six weeks, and his sister in law, Ruby came to Delaware for Grandparents’ Day at GMS.  Ruby’s son, Daniel’s nephew, Weston, and his sweet wife, Stephanie, combined three birthdays into one grand celebration, and we were fed royally and enjoyed a great time together with good friends and family.  Then this morning, my Aunt Dottie was honored at a “Glorified Coffee Bar” for her ninetieth birthday.  90 years!  Wow!  She is still a classy, beautiful lady, with life experiences behind her that have made her what she is today, and it is easy to love her.  She is well worth celebrating, and it was a grand time together.

Anyhow, I should do this a whole lot longer, but I am truly feeling a whole lot happier.  I have a lot of things that could have happened that I’m mighty happy didn’t.  There are some (well, okay, a LOT of) things that I wish had happened, and didn’t.  I’m still praying for some big things that should happen, at least in my humble opinion, but even if these things that seem so imperative to my happiness don’t come to pass, I will not only praise Him, but I purpose to trust Him.

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The Summer Wanes

The heat is oppressive.

I pull shriveled leaves off my verbena plants and deadhead the expired blossoms and think about this summer.

This has been a summer of change.  It’s been a summer of HARD, HARD, HARD.  It’s been a summer of unfair accusations, misunderstandings, and unresolved sadness over the mental breakdown of one of the individuals in our home, her decision to leave us, and the subsequent cut off of all communication.  I’ve been left with 12 years of memories, not all good, but so, so many that were, and a deep desire to have just a friendship with this individual in whom we had invested so much.  It may be better for her (and us) to have things this way, but I taste the grief as salt at the many places that her person filled.  I shell lima beans, remember that the trash goes to the road on Thursday, keep the paper towel holders and toilet paper spindles filled, and clean her bathroom, and remember the good times and wish for the thousandth time that it was possible to convince someone that doesn’t love herself that she is, not only lovable – but loved!

There were breathless moments of panic and despair as we have watched and waited the drama unfold around the foster baby that our family loves so intently.  FOUR times we had a date for when she would be permanently moved.  FOUR times, the plans changed yet again.  The yet unfinished business makes me feel as if I cannot really let my breath all out, but our God is in control of all of this, and He has proven that He doesn’t need a month, a week, a day, an hour or minute to accomplish His Purpose.  He even can redeem a situation when it seems like it’s already too late, and HE is to be trusted.

There have been family issues that have broken my heart.  What should I do when decisions are made by people I love that are so totally out of my control, but it’s obvious that the decisions will lead to disaster, heartache, and shipwreck?  And what about the stuff that’s already done and is irreparable?  Words spoken that damage the hearts of the little ones, divorce, suicide, abortion?  The kinds of things that make me sick with that “kicked in the gut, and I can’t get my breath” kind of response . . .and I can’t fix it!

They say I’m not supposed to.  It’s not up to me.  Then why does it hurt so much?

These are the days when I have been so homesick for my Daddy and My Sweet Mama.  I know that they couldn’t fix things either (and some of the things, I’m really happy that they don’t even have to know about).  But in the roughest places of my life, when it felt like there was nowhere else to turn, they listened, and they prayed and it was enough.  I have always said that my Daddy went to Heaven “all prayed up and prayed ahead” for us and our children, but sometimes it feels like we are running out.  (“Oh, Daddy, what would you say?  How would you pray?  What would you do?”) I find the tears wanting to spill out over the strangest things.  I feel so fragile, and it makes me wish for a reprieve.  It makes me wish for Heaven.  I’ve always wanted to live here in “Light of Heaven,” but I’m thinking this expression of that ideal doesn’t translate into the present as a positive thing.  At least not very well.

I deadhead flowers, pick garden produce, make relish,  and freeze beans.  I have days filled to the brim with plenty to do, and earlier this week, I came home from a very full day and as Certain Man and I were headed up to bed, I realized that there was some talk on our Yoder family Google Group about an “old photo.”

“Wait just a minute,” I implore my long suffering spouse.  “I haven’t checked email all day, and I want to see what this is.”  I flip through the 100+ emails that accumulated there and find the attachment and open it.  “Oh,” I say softly.  And turn the screen to show him.

Daddy and his twin

It’s a photo of my Daddy and his twin, Luke.  It sucks away my breath, and the tears sting behind my eyelids.    Daniel went through all the things a man does, like “Wonder where they were?  Wonder when that was taken?  Wonder what they were doing?  Wonder who was there?  I mean, somebody had to take the picture.”  I just looked at it and looked at it, until I couldn’t see.

It’s a peculiar thing.  Since Mama died, I miss Daddy more than before.  I’ve heard explanations for that often enough to realize that it isn’t unusual  — but it doesn’t stop the missing.  I miss Mama acutely these days, too.  Sometimes I wonder what our lives would be like now if they had continued to live and move and have their being.  It would be different, for sure, and I would never say that I think it would have been better, but maybe there would be more comfort for these days.  One thing that would probably never changed and that was her delight in her babies and grandchildren.  I opened our Wert family google group the other day and had to suck in my breath again.  It was a picture of my Aunt Orpha, holding her newest great-grandchild.  She looked so much like my Sweet Mama, and everything was sweet, sweet, sweet.  She was dressed in a pretty dress that could have been my mama’s.  I  saw her face, so much like that of “her sister next in line,” my mother, and I wept again.

Aunt Orpha

“Someday the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing.
But oh!  The Joy when I awake
Within the palace of the king . . .”

And so, except for those I love who may not be there,

“Even so, Lord Jesus, Come!”

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